By Lisa Holcomb
Have you ever cooked a chicken and found you have leftover meat to deal with? Or, maybe you actually planned on having leftover chicken throughout the week. If you roast the chicken over the weekend, you can use the extra meet for easy dinners throughout the week. Buying a whole chicken is often more frugal than buying small portions like chicken breast, but you might end up with lots of leftover chicken. You can also buy a store bought rotisserie chicken and use if for several different recipes during the week. Here are some tips that will help you give those leftovers new life!
- Chicken Salad: You can quickly make a fresh green salad with nuts, fresh fruits, green veggies, and cubes of leftover chicken. You can also add some cooked pasta to the salad to make it stretch further. Sprinkle with your favorite spices or seasonings. This is an easy throw together dinner that can easily become a family favorite.
- Soup: Chicken noodle soup is a great choice for leftover chicken. You can also make use of it to prepare easy chicken and dumplings, chicken chili, or even extra heart-healthy minestrone.
- Barbecue Chicken Sandwich: Who doesn’t love barbecue? You can mix your favorite barbecue sauce with shredded leftover chicken, quickly heat it up and pile it on a soft roll or hamburger bun to make a sandwich.
- Lettuce Wraps: Lettuce wraps are wonderful for an easy lunch or dinner. Chopped or shredded leftover chicken rolled up in fresh lettuce leaves is super quick and easy to do. Add some spices or seasonings and diced veggies and you’ve got yourself a yummy healthy meal.
- Chicken Taco Roll-Ups: Roll up leftover chicken in a tortilla with cheese, beans, veggies or any other extras you may have on hand. Cover the rolls with some salsa in a baking dish, and bake until they are warmed through. You can also heat them in your microwave.
- Stuffed Baked Potatoes: Potatoes can be baked in several different ways. They can be cooked in a traditional oven, in a roaster, slow cooker, microwaved, or even on a grill. Top them with warmed chicken and cheese and any other toppings you have.
- Pizza: How about a quick, yummy, home-made pizza? You can use an already made pizza crust, pizza sauce, leftover chicken and some cheese. This can also be a family favorite.
Casseroles, tacos, soups, sandwiches, the possibilities for using leftover chicken to stretch your grocery are endless. Get creative and bring new life to those leftovers.
Lisa Holcomb and her husband, Will, have six children (her oldest two children are married and have babies of their own) and live near Austin, Texas, with their four boys. Lisa is co-founder of Build a Menu and is known as the “Queen of Meal Time Makeovers.” She is an author, speaker, and an advocate for adoption, family nutrition, savvy grocery shopping, and family dinners. Feel free to email her at [email protected]